Students will demonstrate and understanding of body movements and dance steps for musical theatre by performing a simple choreographed dance that will give them ideas for their final performance.
DVD or video player and television, camera to record students dancing, DVD or video of Cats, and Singing in the Rain, CD player, CD with the song “One Singular Sensation” from Chorus Line,
Video or DVD of non-professionals doing a poor job of body movements in a musical if available from past performances, and top hats.
If possible show a video or DVD of some kids performing a musical number poorly, if this is not possible then act out poor body movements and such. Point out because of the bad body movements and dance this did not come across well. Now show professionals dancing in Cats and Singing in the Rain.
Transition: Discuss how body movement and dance is so important in musical theatre. Talk about movements needing to be complete, crisp, and sharp. Discuss that just as we learned that the voice is a tool in theatre, so is the body.
Modeling: The teacher can now show the students simple dance steps to the song “One Singular Sensation” from Chorus Line.
Directions: The teacher now instructs the students that they will be learning these simple steps and other body movements and performing them at the end of the class.
Instruction: The teacher (or have a dance teacher come in) instructs the students in body warm ups and then into choreographed dance steps. The steps taught will include body movements with a hat, dance steps such as the jazz square, kicks, pivots, and so forth. The students will only learn seven sets of eight beats to keep it simple.
Checking for Understanding: The teacher must take time to check the students if they are grasping the steps and movements. If other students catch on quicker they can help the other students.
Group Practice: The students will continue to practice as a group with the teacher checking on their progress.
If possible tape the students dancing and play it back for them to see themselves. If this is not possible then have half the students dance while others watch and then switch groups. Point out again the good body movements and those that need to be improved on with the reminder how important the body and the voice are in musical theatre. Remind the students that next time they meet they will be practicing their performances in class, so they need to bring their music, and their own accompaniment. This means they will need to record the piano music to practice with since there is only one piano. It also means they need to bring their own CD players since there is only one CD player.
Students will receive participation points for this exercise and how well they did their body movements. The dance steps are only if they tried to do them since some students are not inclined to dancing.